Veterinarian investigates polio-like hind limb weakness in pigs | Northeast Ore. officials track elk hoof disease | How dog's run-in with a porcupine nearly killed its owner
October 17, 2016
Animal Health SmartBrief
News for animal health professionals
Veterinary Medicine Update
Veterinarian investigates polio-like hind limb weakness in pigs
Veterinarian Paulo Arruda determined that young swine that developed polio-like hind limb weakness were infected with a previously unrecognized sapelovirus that may have caused central nervous system lesions. The team can't say for sure whether the virus directly caused the hind-limb weakness, but the virus may be relatively common in the US and could cause 1% to 2% losses in affected herds. (10/13) 
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Northeast Ore. officials track elk hoof disease
Animal health officials in Oregon are asking for hunters' help with understanding the spread of elk hoof disease, a bacterial infection that results in lameness due to deformed, sloughed, broken or overgrown hooves. "Observations reported by the public are critical in mapping where the disease currently exists and how the distribution is changing," said veterinarian Julia Burco.
The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) (10/14) 
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How dog's run-in with a porcupine nearly killed its owner
A woman is finally resting comfortably after two emergency department visits, several medical procedures to remove blood and fluid from her chest and one surgery that found a porcupine quill pushing through her aorta. The woman reported de-quilling her dog weeks earlier after it tangled with a porcupine, and she apparently accidentally ingested a quill that went on to puncture her esophagus and pierce her aorta, causing bleeding into the cardiac sac. (10/14) 
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Other News
In 2014 the average educational loan debt of a veterinary school graduate was $135,000.*
Would you be able to pay for your student loans if you were disabled and not working? Click here to learn more about our NEW Supplemental Disability product that can help pay your student loans if you suffer a covered disability.

*2015 AVMA Report on Veterinary Debt and Income
Animal News
Why canine diabetes patients require insulin injections
Veterinarian Lee Pickett explains that although some people with diabetes can manage their disease with diet and exercise alone, dogs cannot. Dogs must receive insulin injections because they develop type 1 diabetes, also called insulin-dependent diabetes, when their pancreas stops producing insulin. (Reading, Pa.) (10/14) 
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Food allergies afflict cats, too
Veterinarian Scott Sandeman writes that food allergies may explain feline skin problems including itchiness around the head and neck and gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or stool changes. Dr. Sandeman says a special diet is usually needed for food-allergic cats because the problem is typically the protein source.
Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa) (10/16) 
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Dealing with canine mammary tumors
Mammary cancer is most frequent malignancy seen in female dogs over 7 years old that have not been spayed, writes veterinarian Christine Swanson, and obesity is a risk factor. Not all mammary lumps will spread, but a veterinarian must examine each mass to determine whether they are malignant or benign, and in some cases, animals will have a mix of cancerous and noncancerous tumors at the same time.
WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids, Mich.) (10/13) 
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Skipping heartworm prevention puts pet health at risk
Heartworm disease, which affects dogs and cats, causes coughing, lethargy, reduced activity and weight loss, and the infection can lead to death if severe and left untreated, veterinarian Brittany Gogluizza explains. However, infection with the mosquito-borne parasite is preventable, and a veterinarian can help owners decide which medication is best for their pet. (Woodland Park, N.J.) (free registration) (10/15) 
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How Does the Only FDA-Approved Opioid for Cats Work?
The first and only FDA-approved opioid for cats provides 24-hours of continuous pain control. But do you know why this buprenorphine, specifically formulated for felines, lasts longer than others? Learn more about its efficacy, safety, and novel dose and concentration in a new video. Watch now.
Around the Office
Networking is a vital part of career success
Most professionals aren't using LinkedIn enough to get the full benefits the social network provides, Ariel Lopez writes. You can't be afraid to reach out to others and make new connections if you want to be as successful as possible, she argues.
Forbes (10/13) 
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Hot Topics
AVMA Today
Celebrate National Veterinary Technician Week with AVMA resources
Veterinary technicians are critical to the day-to-day function of veterinary practices, and they play vital roles in preserving animal health and welfare. To honor their work, Oct. 16-22 has been named National Veterinary Technician Week, and the AVMA has gathered some tools and resources to help veterinarians say "thank you" and honor their techs. View AVMA's National Veterinary Technician Week resources.
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Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.
Jane Kenyon,
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The news summaries appearing in Animal Health SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The AVMA is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AVMA. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by the AVMA of the site or the information presented on the site. Questions and comments should be directed to SmartBrief at
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